The Walking Dead TV show and the comic book source material are obviously moving at two different speeds, with the live-action survivors always playing catch up to their illustrated counterparts. When Season 7 introduced the junkyard-dwelling Jadis to audiences, she was notably the first villainous leader of a female persuasion, leading readers to theorize that she would eventually become the comic's Alpha, leader of the antagonist group The Whisperers. At the time, actress Pollyanna Mcintosh was quite down on the rumors, but it appears her negativity on the issue has lessened. So does that mean it's happening? In her words:
Of course, we know that the absence of evidence doesn't somehow hold up as its own evidence, but The Walking Dead has a pretty specific way of handling interviews and press questions. A straight denial usually will reflect the truth at that current stage of the writing and/or filming, so if showrunner Scott Gimple is saying aliens aren't coming, we're likely not going to see aliens. But once vagueness and subject-dodging comes into play, that's when some of the more justified theories emerge. And in the case of her talk with ComicBook.com, Pollyanna Mcintosh's tonal shift heavily points to a change coming where Jadis is concerned.
Not that Pollyanna Mcintosh should be blamed for possibly leading us astray before. After all, when Season 7 was in production, Scott Gimple and Robert Kirkman didn't really need to bring up The Whisperers to anyone in the cast, since those villains weren't on the horizon. As such, the actress didn't need to know anything about them. Plus, it wasn't even apparent until the end that Jadis was indeed a foe. But now that Season 8 is in production and the upcoming story beats are being broken down, perhaps new, skin-cloaked information has made the rounds.
Admittedly, it's pretty early for hardcore beliefs to start forming over the legitimacy of Jadis' potential evolution into the Whisperers' leader Alpha. The comics don't get into Whisperer territory until long after Rick and Negan's All-Out War has finished, with a time-jump moving things along. Assuming the TV show milks that war out for the entirety of Season 8, Alpha's presence wouldn't happen until at least Season 9, though it's possible Rick v. Negan could get truncated to just a half-season.
Still, some passage of time would definitely be necessary in order for there to be a genuine progression from Jadis to Alpha, although I suppose it's not much of a reach. Neither Jadis nor Alpha talks much, and the former already has a big group of virtue-lite followers that could easily fill the Whisperers' ranks, so that's taken care of. Of course, there's that that whole "cutting off walkers' skin and wearing it as their own" aspect of the Whisperers that might make things a bit tough for the group. But if they're used to junkyard smells all day long, the inside of a zombie's skin probably doesn't get too much more disgusting.
What do you guys think about Pollyanna Mcintosh's downplayed response? Is she heading to Alpha-ville, or will Jadis not even live long enough to give herself that name? Another issue here is that Comic Alpha has a daughter who's quite important to the storyline, but that could easily be swept under the rug.
The Walking Dead likely won't be offering up any answers here, either by whispering them or by screaming them, so we'll have to wait until Season 8 comes around to AMC this fall to see what Jadis and her crew will be getting into. In the meantime, head to our summer TV schedule to see what new and returning shows are on the way.